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“Hottest Evah May Day”

May 11, 2018

By Paul Homewood

The news has been full of the “hottest May Bank Holiday evah” this week. For instance, ITV News:



The UK has enjoyed its hottest Early Spring Bank Holiday on record when temperatures passed 24°C (75°F) by 10am.

The previous record for first Bank Holiday in May was a relatively modest 23.6°C (74.5°F) set in 1999.

The record by broken in the morning on Monday 7 May 2018 when thermometers in the south of England were at 24°C and above.

The highest temperature in the UK by noon was 25.1°C (77.2°F) at Gosport in Hampshire. By 3pm the temperature reached 28°C (82°F) at Heathrow airport and St James’s Park in London. The highest temperature of the day was achieved at Northolt in London when it reached 28.7°C (83.7°F)


No surprise that the tarmacs at Heathrow and RAF Northolt feature, along with another regular, St James’ Park, in the middle of London.

But, of course, the Bank Holiday is just one solitary day, which can occur anywhere between 1st May and the 7th.

How did this week’s high temperature fit into other days in the first half of May?

If we use CET data, we find that last Monday recorded 24.8C. This is well below the record high of 26.0C, set on 14th May 1965:


There have also been eight hotter days since 1945.


It is worth noting that days above 24C in May were almost unknown prior to 1945. Since then they have come along fairly regularly two or three times a decade.

As for May as a whole, this week has been positively cool, compared to 1922 and 1944, when the mercury hit 32.8C:




In 1922, the Met Office reported that record temperatures lasted for three days:




Whilst in May 1944, they noted some of the incredible fluctuations, which had occurred during the month:





We must remember that just a week after that record hot spell, Allied troops were storming the Normandy beaches. It might help all of us put a bit of weather into some sort of perspective.

  1. May 11, 2018 6:27 pm

    Can we hope that the MSM publishes the record cold data? I think not. Doesn’ fit the scene does it?

  2. Chris, Leeds permalink
    May 11, 2018 6:52 pm

    The MSM make such a big deal of this nonsense. The reality is that temperatures of 82F/28C or more have been recorded in England in the last half of April or the first half of May in 10 years over the period from 1890. Those years were 1893, 1943, 1945, 1949, 1976, 1990, 1995, 1998, 2011 and now 2018. That’s about once every 12-13 years. And since 1940 there have been 9 years with temperatures that high – so once about every 8 years. So a temperature of 82F/28C in this period of spring is not that rare – typically once a decade or less.

    Note also that three years in the 1940s alone had temperatures of 82F/28C or in this period and an additional year – 1944 – had 91F/33C close to the end of May. This was way before ‘global warming’.. Not to mention the extraordinary spring of 1893, in which temperatures reached or exceeded 80F/27C for a week or more in APRIL!

    • Chris, Leeds permalink
      May 11, 2018 8:07 pm

      I have also now found that 82.4F was recorded on 5th May 1923 – so yet another year with 82/28C in England in the last half of April or first half of May…

  3. Harry Passfield permalink
    May 11, 2018 7:09 pm

    The report of the ‘hottest May Day Bank Holiday since records began’ is disingenuous by tptb. The clue was in the use of ‘May Day’ – as in Bank Holiday – which has only been a Bank Holiday for 40 years.
    But then, many of us knew that, I’m sure.

  4. Athelstan permalink
    May 11, 2018 7:26 pm

    Hmm, I think that enjoying the glorious early May weather was key, a top priority for most…………..

    And then, even the unknowing, not bovvered, unconcerned, disinterested, oblivious UK public are far more concerned about the harvest of an Orchid plant in Madagascar.

    Though we may well speculate that, will man made myth by the loons of global alarmunism be blaming the collapse of the Renunion and Madagascan Vanilla harvest?

    A slam dunk?

  5. mikewaite permalink
    May 11, 2018 8:12 pm

    Well that may be the ITV’s slant on the current weather but the BBC , that paragon of truth, has allowed a chap on Gardener’s World complain about wild plants being “4 weeks behind where they should be”. I wonder which observation is the better indicator of long term climate change?

  6. RAH permalink
    May 11, 2018 9:52 pm

    It’s too bad that one can’t just enjoy the warmth after a long cold winter without some ambulance chasing fraudsters trying to make it into a crisis!

    • HotScot permalink
      May 11, 2018 11:12 pm


      Well put. I was going to make the point that a hot weather bank holiday was once enjoyed by all without guilt.

      Thanks to the doomsday merchants, we are all forced to feel guilty about enjoying a day in life giving sun.

      • nigel permalink
        May 12, 2018 6:45 am

        “…enjoyed by all without guilt…”

        And, traditionally, with shoes abandoned and a handkerchief over ones’ bald spot.

  7. EternalOptimist permalink
    May 11, 2018 10:42 pm

    We may have stormed the beaches of Normandy but a bit of coral may have bleached. Is that really a price worth paying ?

  8. May 12, 2018 6:58 am suggest that the highest recorded temperature in the UK for 7th May was 29.0 oC at Waddon (London)and Ulcombe (Kent) in 1976

  9. Phoenix44 permalink
    May 12, 2018 8:28 am

    I particularly enjoyed the breathless stories days before, setting out how the record was likely to be broken. Interestingly, one BBC story did admit that the Bank Holiday record was lower than the record for the Bank Holiday weekend – the Saturday in 1999 (I think) was much warmer. But I can no longer find that – did the BBC remove that ?

  10. RAH permalink
    May 12, 2018 9:08 am

    Friday it got up to 85 F (29.4 C) here where I live in Indiana. As usual in the spring the grass is growing like crazy. At 13:00 local time I put on a some shorts to get some sun on my white legs. Put on my jungle hat and sunglasses. Trimmed my acre with the trim push mower then got on the tractor and mowed the rest while sipping on a Jack Danials and Coke. Then attached the lawn sweeper to the tractor and picked up the clippings. I Loved every minute of the 2 1/4 hours it took me to do it. Great to break a sweat and get some sun.

    • nigel permalink
      May 12, 2018 12:06 pm

      The present pictures of the weather and the data for sources of supply for the National Electricity grid “do not compute” entirely. The whole of the UK is almost windless, and the contribution of wind power is almost nil – which is as it should be. However, the figure for solar is 15.6%, while half of England is covered by cloud! Really?

  11. pochas94 permalink
    May 12, 2018 1:05 pm

    Pyramid building.

  12. RAH permalink
    May 12, 2018 2:00 pm

    “We must remember that just a week after that record hot spell, Allied troops were storming the Normandy beaches. It might help all of us put a bit of weather into some sort of perspective.”

    And just 13 days after D-day the worst channel storm in decades to hit in June virtually destroyed one Mulberry harbor and badly damaged the other. For three days the storm raged dropping the amount of troops and supplies supplied to the allied bridgehead far below the estimated minimal levels required. A storm that nobody forecast.

  13. nigel permalink
    May 12, 2018 7:19 pm

    “…worst channel storm in decades…”

    That is weather for you. Happens whether the climate changes or not.

    “…badly damaged the other…”

    No, ‘the other’ was the British Mulberry, which we thought to anchor to the sea-bottom, and which operated for ten months. Bits of the American harbour were salvaged, and transferred to the use of the British one, for repairs and expansions.

    Landing Ships Tanks (LST’s) were immediately put to use supplying over the open beaches. My father commanded one of them.

    In fact, the planners had greatly under-estimated the capacity of the open beaches. Total air superiority over the beaches was, of course, a sine qua non.

    There was never any shortage of men and supplies in the bridgehead. At the time of the breakout, a month later, there were a million troops in it. The trouble was that most of the troops were green, and the tanks were all mediums. After five years, the Western Allies still did not have a good main battle tank. Still, they had planes galore.

    Logistical trouble came later, when the Allies found it difficult to operate, three hundred miles deep into France, with just road links. And forgot that the first rule of warfare is to attack in one concentrated blow.

    • RAH permalink
      May 13, 2018 5:30 pm

      1. It was still badly damaged. Parts were taken from the one off Omaha to repair the one the Brits had put in. True that the Brits took the time to secure all the “Whales” with all of their “kites” while the US used only half of them to put theirs in. But IMO based on extensive reading, it wouldn’t have mattered much had the Americans used all their kites. The Mulberry and vessels off Omaha beach were more exposed to the weather in their roadstead than the British one off
      And it didn’t matter how well they are secured when some of the many landing craft that broke loose during the storms started crashing into the Whales.

      The planned amount of tonnage to be landed on Omaha on D-day was 2,400. Only about 100 tons were landed that day. The planned minimum level of resupply at Omaha after D-day was 8,000 tons per day. During the first four days after D-day a total of only 4,581 tons came in across the beach due to the carnage of the initial assault leaving all kinds of obstacles from sunken, beached, landing craft, vehicles, and tanks on top of many of the still present obstacles and mines the Germans had emplaced. Ramsey authorized the landing of LSTs at all beaches except Omaha on the 7th.It was not until June 10th that he determined the Omaha beach was sufficiently secured and cleared to allow LSTs to land. What made up the difference at this time were the RHINO Ferries. A simple raft vessel with two outboard motors manned by Seabees who’s contribution is often overlooked.

      But problems still had to be overcome. During the first couple weeks the constant demands of the front line commanders for emergency delivery of specific supplies or equipment disrupted the planned build up. Eventually it was determined that they had to just go with the plan and deliver the supplies to the beach the priorities would take care of themselves and for the most part that is what they did, and it worked.

      At Omaha during the three days of the storm tonnage landed amounted to between 2 and 3,000 tons per day. Well below the minimum planned levels of 8,000 tons per day as LSTs and other vessels of the follow up convoys loitered off shore since they had no place to land.

      And yes there were constant shortages though obviously none were fatal during the first several weeks. That was where the DUKWs came in with their ability to go out, get the specific materials requested as high priority, and drive them right to where they were needed. Omar Bradly having asked the Brits to supply two auto ferries loaded with ammunition to be beached and act as ammunition depots during the planning phase turned out to be God Send. Despite the beach still being under artillery fire the ferries were beached and survived. Without the units of fire on those vessels there would have been very serious ammunition shortages.

      The three major problems with landing the LSTs on any of the beaches were:
      1. Tides. and LST landing when the tide was going out would be stranded until the tide came in. This was known as “drying out”.

      2. Combat loading for landing on the beach was 3,330 Tons. But a full load as could be offloaded at a Mulberry or Hard or Dock, was 5,777 Tons.

      3. LSTs, were often over loaded for beach landing conditions resulting in more severe wear and tear on the hulls. In such conditions a typical LST would be so damaged after 8-10 landings that it would either have to repaired or assigned to missions not requiring beach landing.

      Despite all this the LSTs saved the day for Allies delivering far more supplies than it was ever anticipated was possible over the beaches and carrying prisoners and wounded back to England then loaded with more troops and supplies to land at the beaches. The routine was such a grind that worn out LST crews would sometimes request a “dry load” where they would get 8-10 hours of rest with their vessel grounded on the beach between tides.. So much tonnage was landed at the beaches once the problems were worked out that an argument can be made by looking closely at the stats that the docks and their whale floating roadways were a waste even without the storm though most certainly the Gooseberry breakwaters created by the sunken ships/corncobs and bombardons absolutely necessary.

      Anyway one looks at it Neptune was a fantastic success despite the tremendous difficulties. In the end the tonnages being delivered were over twice that the planners had estimated could be accomplished even with both Mulberrys fully functional.

      Most of the facts provided are extracted from the book ‘Neptune, The Allied Invasion Of Europe and the D-day Landings’ by Craig L Symonds.

      Years ago as an SF soldier serving in Europe I had the opportunity to spend a single day in the area of the landings. Being an American and a 2nd generation paratrooper one can easily discern where I spent my limited time during the visit.

      • dave permalink
        May 14, 2018 8:09 pm

        Well I am certainly glad I never had to be involved in anything like it.

        As I wrote, my father commanded LST’s at the time. Once he looked out while delivering armour down the ramp (he expected to do a tank a minute) and saw to his astonishment that Eisenhower, Bradley and Montgomery had boarded and were surveying the general scene. He did what any British Naval Officer would do in the circumstances, namely picked up a megaphone and bellowed: “You army people! Get the fuck off my deck!!” Eisenhower being a true diplomat naturally apologized and complied.

      • RAH permalink
        May 15, 2018 12:58 pm

        Kind of ironic that the concept of the LST came from the fertile mind of Churchill and it was he who was the primary driver for the massive construction project required to produce the Mulberries.

  14. May 14, 2018 2:17 pm

    I spent Friday and Saturday leading tours at the West Virginia Wildflower Pilgrimage which meets at Blackwater Falls State Park in the mountains. During my tour to Dolly Sods I mentioned that I used NOAA data from that area for my MA thesis on the bog in 1968-69, but would no longer use their data as they had been tampering with it. I was amazed to hear several people talking about how they were putting temperature sensing stations in places such as airports where temperatures would be abnormally high. A segment of the general population IS catching on.

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